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New caucus to protect toys from misfit rules

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Congress,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

In a city where nearly every group from bourbon makers to cement mixers has a “caucus” of congressional supporters, toys have long been left out, just like those on the “Island of Misfit Toys” in the Burl Ives classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Not anymore. A new bipartisan Congressional Toy Caucus has just been launched, egged on by the $22 billion industry that feels persecuted by burdensome federal regulations and overseas trade barriers.

“The toy industry is under fire,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. “What we’re trying to do is keep this creativity and this production here, domestically based.”

According to the Toy Industry Association, federal agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission are loading up regulations on toy makers despite congressional criticism, and the administration isn't doing enough to level the overseas trading field.

Blackburn said the new caucus already has 10 members, most with small toymakers in their districts. She said that many of the toymakers have had run-ins with “inconsistency of policy” from the administration.

The Toy Industry Association said that the new caucus will help to fix those policy clashes and hopefully lead to better sales.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.